Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 9/13/23

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Rey(nolds) of Sunshine

Bryan Reynolds (PIT): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Near the end of June, Bryan Reynolds had an injury scare. He was sidelined until July 2nd with a back issue. The tricky thing with backs is you need them from swinging and a lot of other baseball activities. You never know how they may respond and keep up even after the player is clear to return. But since his return, he has stayed on the field.

Before this injury, Reynolds was having a solid season. A 119 wRC+ with eight homers and eight steals along side 20 doubles. He had already surpassed last year’s steals and doubles totals in less than half the at bats. Reynolds was back. 2022 was a bit of a downturn after an excellent 2021 with a 139 wRC+, a .300 average and 90 plus runs and RBI. More Ks, grounders, and less line drives will do that to you.

However, in 2023 he was off the races. But it took a while after the injury to get going again. In his first two weeks back, he sported a wRC+ of four with one home run and one double. He wasn’t hitting the ball hard (37%) and it was all on the ground (53.5% ground balls).

By July 21st, he seemed to get his groove back. Since then he is slashing .299/.345/.544 with a 133 wRC+ and 12 home runs in 220 plate appearances. He is back to his normal hard hit rate in the mid-40s with a mid-40s ground ball rate and low to mid 20s line drive rate. Reynolds has settled back in to his normal self at the plate once again.

Last night was no different. He laced a 107 MPH single and added a 105 MPH home run in his next at bat. This is one game after he ended a twelve game hit streak.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday

Nathaniel Lowe (TEX): 2-3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.

While he hasn’t lived up to the wild 2022 breakout, Lowe is still having a fantastic season. He is slashing .277/.375/.436 after hitting a 420 foot shot for just his 16th homer of the year. His power has dropped back down to 2021 levels but he is walking much more often. The hard hits are not as common as the last two seasons but he is hitting the ball in the air more often (a big struggle he had in 2021). He is also generally swinging much less often but making more contact as well.

Robbie Grossman (TEX): 2-3, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.

Grossman ripped two 101 MPH hits, one for 10th homer of the year, and he added two more walks. He’s had an average year at the plate with a 102 wRC+ while playing the utility outfielder and DH for Texas. He is a switch hitter but has performed much better as a righty with a 152 wRC+ in 127 plate appearances compared to a 70 wRC+ in 254 as a lefty. The career split leans that way as well but it is much more drastic this season.

Dominic Smith (WSH): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Smith ripped the ball in yesterday’s game with three balls hit 101 MPH or harder. He roped a 108 MPH double in his first at bat, followed by a 101 MPH ground out, and then a 105.6 MPH home run. He has turned it on the past week or so slashing .417/.444/.792 in the seven games prior to this excellent performance. Something seems to be clicking after a long rough patch for Smith.

Spencer Torkelson (DET): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.

I feel like I get to write about Torkelson every week. Sadly this time it is not another multi-home run game. He did hit one though. It was his 28th on the season, bringing his wRC+ up to 110. Despite the hard hit rate above 50%, he still has a decently low .268 BABIP driving his average down. He strikes out a decent amount (24%) but it is nothing absurd, especially in today’s game. This has been an extraordinary season for the young Tigers batters.

Kris Bryant (COL): 1-3, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB.

Bryant had two hard hit fly balls, one that would have been out at many parks but ended up as an error, and he ended up hitting the other out at 397 feet. It has been hard for Bryant to stay on the field while with Colorado but he came back on the 11th after a fractured finger kept him sidelined since late July. He has a hit in each of his three games back and now has back to back days with a homer.

José Ramírez (CLE): 2-5, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Can you say 2023 is a down year for Ramírez? He is slashing .278/.352/.483 with a 122 wRC+ (his lowest since that weird 2019 season he had). His ISO has dipped quite a bit this year (lower than 2019). But he’s stealing more bases. He’s hitting more line drives and less fly balls while his HR/FB has stayed the same as last season. His switch hitting splits have taken a bit of a hit as well. He’s been an average hitter as a righty with a much lower BABIP and more ground balls. He does have a lot more pop as a righty though. He’s still worthy of a first round pick but I feel like he is not as elite as we had hoped.

Randy Arozarena (TB): 2-5, HR, R, RBI.

You take a look at Randy’s stat line and it’s looking quite similar to the last two seasons. Another 20/20 year with 80 plus runs and RBI with a 127 wRC+. His power is down a tad but he’s striking out less and walking much more often (up from 7% to 12.4%). But he only has 16 doubles on the season compared to 41 from last year. And the second half has not been nearly as excellent as the first half. Since the break he only has a 100 wRC+.

Nico Hoerner (CHC): 4-5, R, SB.

Nico in Coors means hits. Four singles across five at bats while adding a steal. He’s been having a very Nico season, but on top of his solid .285 average, he has stolen 40 bases now, putting him sixth in the league. He’s also had a second half surge with a .306/.375/.415 with a 120 wRC+ with 20 steals and four dingers. He has never hit the ball too hard but he’s getting the ball a bit more in the air especially on the line.

Luis Campusano (SD): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Campusano had left thumb surgery earlier in the year sidelining him for a while. Luckily the Padres could plug in Gary Sánchez for a while but Campusano returned to the field on July 19th. Since the return he’s been an excellent bat slashing .318/.364/.491 with a 138 wRC+ in 118 plate appearances. We haven’t seen him have a full extended amount of playing time but this is our first look and it is looking good. He doesn’t strike out, he has a 41% hard hit rate with a nearly 40% fly ball rate. He can be a worthy catcher play.

Mitch Garver (TEX): 2-5, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Speaking of worthy catcher plays, Garver has mostly been slotted behind Jonah Heim but has still made plenty of DH appearances for Texas. He has put together a decently full season with 285 plate appearances despite missing almost all of April and May and being back up to Heim. Garver has a 152 wRC+ on the year with 17 homers in those 285 PAs. Not as spectacular as his 2019 but he’s looking back in that direction.

J.D. Davis (SF): 1-4, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB.

Davis ripped a 104 MPH dinger in the eighth for his 18th of the season. Davis is having a solid year despite a 106 wRC+. He’s getting at bats which he struggled with the last few seasons. And those at bats are warranted. He’s hitting the ball hard (45% but down from 55% last season) however, it has been mostly grounders (52%). He’s hit three dingers this past week along with three doubles despite a 60% ground ball rate in the same span. He is striking out much less so those grounders can be better than not hitting it at all.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Jim Chatterton

Jim has written for Razzball and now is a part of the Pitcher List staff. He is a Villanova alum and an eternally optimistic Mets fan. He once struck out Rick Porcello in Little League.

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